What is an EPC?

These certificates are for all buildings and will be required whenever a building is constructed, rented or sold.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is broadly similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.

Its purpose is to record how energy efficient a property is as a building. The certificate will provide a rating of the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a building from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.

EPCs are produced using standard methods with standard assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating of the building. The certificate is also accompanied by information about the rating that could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.

When are assessments required?

An Energy Performance Certificate is only required when a building is constructed, sold or rented out.

On Construction

When the construction of a new building is completed, the builder or person responsible for the construction is responsible for obtaining the certificate and providing it to the owner. This is a duty under Building Regulations. This will also apply if a building is converted into fewer or more units and there are changes to the heating, hot water provision or air conditioning/ ventilation services.

On Sale

For existing buildings that are to be sold, the building's owner is responsible for ensuring a certificate is made available to all prospective purchasers at the earliest opportunity.

On Rent

When buildings are to be rented out, the landlord is responsible for ensuring a valid certificate is made available to all prospective tenants.

Buildings are responsible for almost 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emission - a higher percentage than road or air traffic. Mr Wright said that if government and business - landlord and tenants, employers and employees - worked together, UK could save 40 million tonnes of carbon by 2020.

The certificate is one of the measures being introduced to improve the energy efficiency of our 25 million buildings and meet our carbon emission reduction targets.

View more of our Energy Assessment Services.